Naturopath sued for difficult childbirth in Hawaii

Home birth with naturopath assistance results in malpractice suit. That can not fix the child’s injuries but perhaps will result in tougher laws for under-trained medical practitioners.

Heartbroken mother suing alternative medical provider for negligent delivery | KHON2 Hawaii.

In July 2011, Margaret Drake was a young mother going into labor. She was having her son, Makaio, via natural birth at her home in Manoa under the care of a naturopath Lori Kimata and her assistant Kaja Gibbs, who both worked for the Sacred Healing Arts Center.

“It was advertised as a safe option and I trusted in that,” Drake said.

Drake’s lawyer, Richard Turbin, alleges that Kimata and her assistant, Gibbs, were not trained or certified to oversee and manage a childbirth, especially without a medical doctor around.

Labor went on for two days by which point Drake should have been taken to a hospital for a C-section. But she wasn’t. Her baby was born limp and in respiratory distress with permanent brain damage due to lack of oxygen from prolonged birth.

Naturopaths are lightly regulated in Hawaii. As a doctor notes, since they are not surgically trained, they shouldn’t be doing deliveries.

  9 comments for “Naturopath sued for difficult childbirth in Hawaii

  1. March 27, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Cord accidents are unpredictable. 1/200, I believe. Babies’ vitals need to be monitored, because once they’re in distress, you have about 7minutes to cut the adorable little sucker out. If you are farther away than 7minutes from a surgeon while giving birth and something goes wrong you have unnecessarily endangered the baby. The mom is not without fault here. But TWO DAYS. Jesiz.

  2. March 27, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Home delivery on its own is playing Russian roulette. The standard of care from decision to incision for a c-section is generally 30 minutes. This is difficult when only the finest of homes are equipped with ORs, and everyone else has to be rushed to a hospital when time is not a luxury. I’d argue family doctor and Midwives in a hospital are not as good as an OB at the helm.

    I am not letting the ND off the hook, but the mother’s delivery choice cannot be left out. Sad.

  3. One Eyed Jack
    March 28, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Parent chooses a “naturopath” to deliver their baby. Unqualified person botches delivery. Parent sues naturopath so they can ignore their own responsibility. I think that sums it up.

  4. March 28, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    You wouldn’t trust your life on a naturopath mechanic fixing your brakes, why trust a child’s birth to one? Such a sad story. Poor kid.

  5. March 28, 2013 at 8:47 AM


    A naturopath rubbed herbs on my worn out brake pads. Now I don’t have to worry about maintenance since my car failed to stop when approaching a cliff. It all works out in the in end.

  6. Chris Howard
    March 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Are naturo-whatever’s regulated at all?

  7. Kiljoy616
    March 28, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Wait she is suing because she is mad that her magical thinking did not pan out and the magic naturopath could not make it work.

  8. Sin
    April 2, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    I’m all for natural birth, but this woman was plan stupid. Does she realize the risks? Home births can be safe,, if they knew what they were doing, did they not realize the baby was in distress? No plan B? C’mon, did this woman just wake up and decide she wanted to do a natural birth because she obviously didn’t plan well or do her research. If she was going to do a home birth why didn’t she hire a doula and have a midwife present? Someone qualified to actually know what they are doing & could have monitored the baby as well as rushed her to the hospital if something went wrong!!

    I feel so bad for the baby, who has to live with a disability for the rest of his life because the ignorance of his mother.

  9. April 2, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    It could be that she trusted the naturopath. People tend to believe they are just as qualified as medical doctors. Obviously he did not make the correct decision either. Thus, the lawsuit.

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